Components of a refrigerator. A compressor pressurizes the refrigerant gas, heating it and forcing …—© Merriam-Webster Inc.

Process of removing heat from an enclosed space or from a substance in order to lower the temperature. In industrialized nations and prosperous regions in the developing world, refrigeration is used chiefly to store foodstuffs at low temperatures, thus inhibiting the destructive action of bacteria, yeasts, and molds. Many perishable products can be frozen, permitting them to be kept for months and even years with little loss in nutrition or flavour or change in appearance. See also air-conditioning; cooling system; heat exchanger.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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